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Saturday, 20 December 2014

Poppy Cultivation in Miniature

These Oriental Poppies are from a Ruth Hanke (Hanky Panky Crafts) kit I purchased many years ago. The kit called for White-Out Fluid which is not exactly easily available these days, but I decided to try using a gel pen instead, on a scrap of the tissue paper, and it worked quite well. So I decided that tonight, I would finish these opium poppies, which will go into the Tudor Apothecary Garden when it is built.

The kit, like most of them, was a multi-step one; and I used dinner to dry out the gel pen enough that I could go over it with a .005 black Pigma pen. The effect is quite dramatic; two petals of each flower had the black and white treatment, and I am now tempted to try it in deep rose for a white poppy, or purple for a rose one. I tend to make these flowers assembly-line style; first all the tops, then the petals, then the leaves, with lots of drying time in between to avoid tissue paper petals sticking to me and everything else on my work surface.

The buds are cheats; I was supposed to paint mustard seeds, but as I had seed beads in the right colour, I used those for the buds instead. As they sort of lurk among the blooming poppies, they should pass nicely.

Drawing on tiny tissue paper petals is a bit nerve-wracking, especially when your black pen seems to be running dry! But there was an excellent tip in the kit; tack each petal to be painted to the adhesive strip of a post-it note, to keep it from moving while working on it (and to keep from sneezing them away, or the cat from just plain batting them away). It worked a treat. These tissue flowers will need to be sprayed to prevent fading, which tissue is very prone to.

And since I had started these flowers about a year ago, I can now mark another unfinished (small) project off my list! There are, however, some more poppies barely started that I have to find the instructions for; I hope they are in one of my magazines. This second group uses a bead as the centre of the poppy; it will be interesting to see what the final product looks like.

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